It’s been a couple crazy, busy days here in Medellin. I have a bit of a backlog of posts – from a day learning to finger crochet in a group crochet class, the festival of flowers, a visit to Clinica Medellin Occidente and the ALAT conference. It will take me a little while to post everything before heading home in just a few short days.
The ALAT conference was fantastic. In addition to numerous wonderful, learned speakers from all over Latin America, it was a great chance to connect with innovative thoracic surgeons from practices all around the world. We also re-connected with surgeons we’ve interviewed in the past – to hear what they have been doing since my last visit.
One of these surgeons was Dr. Andres Jimenez at Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogotá (SFdeB). As astute readers of the Bogotá books may remember, our encounters haven’t always been as collegial as they could have been. However, he did grant me an interview, and permit my ingress into the operating room. To my surprise, I found that while he was a hesitant interviewee, he was also a promising young surgeon.
With that in mind, I re-connected with Dr. Jimenez briefly to ask about the program. Dr. Jimenez reports that they have started a lung transplant program and recently performed his first lung transplant at SFdeB.
Dr. Carlos Carvajal, who was a thoracic surgery fellow when we first interviewed him – is now a practicing thoracic surgeon at Hospital Santa Clara in downtown Bogotá.
Dr. Ricardo Buitrago continues his work in robotic surgery at Clinica de Marly. Caught up with Dr. Luis Torres, the young and charming thoracic surgeon from Clinica Palermo.
But the biggest surprise at all – was the twinkling brown eyes of Dr. Cristian Anuz Martinez. (The twinkling brown eyes above a surgical mask are all I remembered from my 2012 trip to the operating room with Dr. Frnando Bello in Santa Cruz, Bolivia).
We spent some time over coffee talking about the current state of cardiothoracic surgery in Bolivia, his private practice and his colleagues.
The conference itself was phenomenal – the amount and range of topics covered – from sleep medicine, tuberculosis, critical care medicine and pulmonology in addition to thoracic surgery.
The Festival of Flowers
The festival of flowers, one of the largest events in Medellin also started August 1st. The event which is expected to draw 19,000 visitors to Medellin this year – celebrates the floral industry of Antioquia with ten days of events. The events are staggered through out the city and include musical concerts, singing contests, parades, flora displays, children’s events and arts.
Tomorrow: Clinica de Medellin – Second time is the charm!